Posts Tagged ‘Jason Campbell’

Comparison: Carson Palmer vs. Jason Campbell

October 20, 2009

Completion %

Yards

TD passing

INTs

Rating

Carson Palmer 59.1% 1375 8 7 78.3
Jason Campbell 65.6% 1197 6 6 84.3

You can see that stats-wise, Jason Campbell is doing just about as well as Carson Palmer.  The fact is, though, that Palmer has had some incredible game-winning drives, and his is better than Campbell and has played better.

But Palmer also has a much better offense at every position except tight end.

The point is that while  Campbell hasn’t played great this year, he hasn’t been any worse than he was last year, and he’s getting too much blame.

Starting him against the Eagles is the right decision, and after the year, he’ll go somewhere else and have a chance to start.

I just wish the Skins hadn’t put Colt Brennan on injured reserve.  It’d be nice to see what he can do.

Sign Jeff Garcia

October 19, 2009

The Redskins should absolutely sign quarterback Jeff Garcia.  He could step in and after less than two weeks, be better than any of the Redskins’ quarterbacks.  Garcia is a winner and would provide a spark to the offense, and he’s good at avoiding the rush, which would be important with the offensive line the way it is right now.  Critics will say he’s 39 so he’s obviously not the future, but Jason Campbell most likely won’t be here after next season.

Assuming the Redskins draft a quarterback in the first round such as Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford, he probably won’t be able to start right away despite the success of players like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.  So Garcia could start next year, at least the first part of the season. There have been a lot of great quarterbacks who have struggled in their first seasons — Peyton Manning, John Elway, Troy Aikman, etc., and others whose time on the bench early on — Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, and Steve McNair — benefitted them. Garcia knows the west coast offense and he used to play for Jon Gruden.  Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren each run the west coast offense.

You need to try to win as may games as possible.  You never know what might happen.  What if the Skins ride their defense to a 9-7 record and make the playoffs?  When you try to be bad on purpose to get high draft picks or to play too many young players, you create a losing atmosphere.  Like a couple of years ago when the Miami Heat tried to get a high draft pick.  Where did it get them? They finished a little bit over .500, just like the Wizards will this year after going in the tank last year.  You can’t turn it on and off like that.  The Skins need to go all out now and play every play like it is their last.  When your boss doesn’t support you and doesn’t want you to succeed, it can get ugly as it has with Daniel Snyder and Jim Zorn.  Taking away Zorn’s play-calling duties — that’s just insulting.

So the Skins should sign Garcia.  It also is too bad they put Colt Brennan on injured reserve.  If I were Colt I’d want to go to another team next year that would give me a fair chance to compete for the job.  But the season can still be salvaged and even if it isn’t, I’d rather be 8-8 than 4-12.

Redskins, Zorn, and Trying Hard

October 19, 2009

So obviously the Skins are going to fire Jim Zorn.  If they can bring in next year’s coach now that would be a good thing because they could get a head start on things.  Even if Zorn was going to be a good coach he doesn’t have the support of Dan Snyder and then you have no chance.  It’s looking a little like Jon Gruden is the likely choice, however, and it’s doubtful he’d leave Monday Night Football in the middle of the season, so it looks like the Skins may have an interim head coach – Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache?

I just hope the organization and team tries their hardest to win during the rest of the year because I hate the philosophy of doing badly on purpose to get a high draft pick for the next season.  The Washington Wizards did it last year and I think they’re going to pay for it this year even though they’re talking big, because you can’t build a winning philosophy by turning if on and off like that.  The word is that Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren would want total authority, which they wouldn’t get.  Bill Cowher would probably want more authority too and he’ll probably go to Carolina.

I’d love to see Russ Grimm as the head coach but Snyder wouldn’t do that.  He wants a big name.  Gruden would inject some enthusiasm and he is a very good offensive coach.  The defense is actually very solid and has some good young players.

The Redskins have gone through a lot of coaches but only two in the past six seasons – Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn.  It doesn’t make sense the way the media and fans always count interim head coaches like Terry Robiskie who coached three games as one of the many coaches the Skins have had.  The Redskins’ moves haven’t been all bad lately too.

Chris Cooley was a great draft pick.  Getting Santana Moss in exchange for Laverneous Coles was a steal.  Carlos Rogers and Laron Landry are good starters in the secondary.  London Fletcher was a great free agent pickup.  Orakpo was a good draft pick.

Obviously they’ve made some bad moves too – WRs Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas have been busts, while TE Fred Davis is very slowly coming on.  You look at some of the later round picks of the team the last 5 years and many of them didn’t make the team.  They overpaid for DeAngelo Hall.  And the failure to upgrade the depth of the offensive line and running back positions have proven to be costly.

If everyone gets on the same page and works hard, the Skins can still finish at a semi-respectable 7-9 or so.  Not great but I believe in trying your best and not throwing in the towel.  They should play Jason Campbell, though, because he’s better than Todd Collins, period.

Redskins 2009 Season Preview

September 13, 2009

A few notes about the Redskins as the season is about to get underway:

DT Albert Haynesworth will help the Skins a lot, but the move was a little risky to put so much money in one position when he has a history of missing a few games each year due to injury.  The addition of first round DE/LB Brian Orakpo helps the Skins at a position where they haven’t had a Pro Bowler since Charles Mann in 1991.  At a position that is arguably the second most important in football after the QB, the Skins have been pretty bad for most of the last two decades.  So the Redskins improved their defensive line a lot but it makes you wonder if they could have spent money on several good players to provide depth at other positions such as the offensive line and running back instead of getting Haynesworth.  It reminds me of a couple of years ago when they acquired both Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd at WR, when only one of them was necessary, and they could have gotten someone else at another position.

Speaking of Randle El, he’s been demoted to number three or even number four  receiver, with Malcolm Kelly at number two.  Kelly seems ready, Randle El isn’t getting any younger, it’s tough when both starting WRs are short, and Randle El has a chance to be used in the Wildcat QB this year.  Still, it’s not as if Randle El had a terrible year last season.  He had 53 receptions and 4 TDs, so we’ll see if Kelly’s production is any better.  What is striking is that Randle El only had one carry last year.  For a fast WR, he should be running a lot more reverses.  Randle El has 436 career rushing yards for 5.6 yards a carry, yet only had one attempt last year?  In fact, Jim Zorn didn’t do a good job last year of using either Santana Moss or Randle El running reverses, and he also missed the boat in not using Randle El as a wildcat QB.  The former college QB has thrown 25 passes in the NFL, completing 20, for 281 yards and 4 TDs.   They need to use Randle El in the Wildcat.  He could have been very dangerous his whole career if teams had used him more.  It also makes you wonder how effective former Skins RB Brian Mitchell could have been as a Wildcat QB.  (Speaking of Mitchell, we all remember the punt and kickoff return records he set, but did you know that his career rushing average was 5.1 and he had 1967 rushing yards?  Now I’m getting back to Skins history again, but what about Kelvin Bryant, known more as a pass-catching RB, who averaged 4.6 yards per rush during his four-year NFL career?  He also tore up the USFL for a few years.)

Clinton Portis is ok but he’s getting older and losing speed, and has never been a very good receiver out of the backfield.  We (yes, I will sometimes say “we” don’t have much depth at RB.  TE Chris Cooley is a bright spot.  Safeties and LBs look solid.

Back to money, I think the Skins may have overpaid for CB DeAngelo Hall, who hasn’t lived up to his draft status as a high first round pick, so again, the Skins could have gotten some lesser known players who didn’t have the big names.  Reminds me of when the Skins acquired S Adam Archuleta and gave up Ryan Grant a few years back, but at least Hall can play.

Another point – the Skins during the last 15 years have had a lot of bad to mediocre kickers and punters, and in a league that is very evenly matched, special teams counts for a lot.  In fact, the Skins have had a lot of 8 or so win seasons in which if they had had one or two more wins they could have made the playoffs.  Our kicker and punter are again average.  Our kickoff and punt return teams and coverage has been below average for the last 15 years.  When was the last time the Skins blocked a punt?

The offensive line has gotten a lot of criticism, but this unit has actually been together for several years, so they should do ok, although they sometimes lose ground to bigger lines.  The big problem is the lack of depth, unless there are some diamonds in the rough that we don’t know about.

As for QB, Jason Campbell should have a decent year.  He needs to improve his accuracy on the deep pass.  In the NFL, first round QBs like Campbell usually get handed jobs without having to earn them, but after just a few seasons, they get thrown to the side if they don’t produce, and the time to produce for Campbell is now.  I have a problem with the Skins putting Colt Brennan on IR for the whole season when it appears that his injuries weren’t that severe.  If I were him I’d be very upset.  He’s already 26, though he’s only in his second season.  He should get a chance to not only play but to be the backup QB.  Todd Collins has played 16 games in the last 6 years.  Don’t tell me he’s that good.  He’s a statue.  When I run I feel like I’m running in quicksand, and I don’t think Collins is much faster.  Now that Brennan is on IR, though, the Skins should pick up Jeff Garcia.  He would be a great backup, and realistically, is probably better than Campbell in the short run.  I’m not saying he should start, but you make your team a lot better by getting an experienced player who has started for most of the last 12 years in the league and has had success.

I also told someone that in a weird way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan Snyder almost wants the Skins to have a mediocre season.  Since they’re probably not going to win the Super Bowl, Snyder probably doesn’t want the Skins to be better than making the playoffs with 10 wins and win maybe one playoff game.  Why?  So that he can hire Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, or John Gruden next year.  Of course, he’d love a Super Bowl win, but since it probably won’t happen, look for Snyder to hire one of those guys, most likely Cowher, Shanahan, or Gruden.

What the Skins should really do, though, is hire an experienced NFL GM.  I think Pat Kirwan, currently an NFL analyst for Sirius NFL Radio, NFL.com, and CBS’ NFL Today, would be a great GM.  Kirwan was the Jets’ director of player administration in the mid-1990s to 1997.  From 1997 to 2002 the Jets never had a losing season, and Kirwan helped build the foundation for those teams.  You always have to look at a few years after a personnel person leaves a team to judge the players they bring in, since many of the new players are rookies.  Kirwan’s radio show is very informative, and he brings great insight about the NFL.  There is no shtick on the show.  In fact, I’m going to use this show on my other blog at www.mikefrandsen.org as an example to show that sportsradio has surpassed newsradio in pure analysis – accuracy of information without any bias.

Back to the Skins:  my prediction is that they will finish 9-7, which usually results in about a 50% chance of making the playoffs.

Free Mike Vick

July 29, 2009

I think Michael Vick deserves a chance to play the entire season.  I also hope it’s with the Washington Redskins, and I think there’s a pretty good chance of that.

Let Vick Play

First, what Vick did to those dogs was obviously terrible.  I like dogs, and they like me.  But Vick paid a huge price, spending two years in prison, missing two full NFL seasons, and losing all of his money.  The whole idea that the NFL is suspending Vick on top of the jail sentence doesn’t make sense to me.  The NFL suspended Vick two years ago, so he has already been suspended for two full seasons.

The NFL has left the door open for Vick to come back right away, with its ambiguous ruling, but Vick may also have to wait until week 6 to play.  The NFL wants Vick to miss the opening week of the season so the story doesn’t dominate the headlines.  They also are concerned with reaction from extreme animal groups as well as a society that seems to place more value on the lives of animals than people.  Other players did worse and got lesser punishments.

  • Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of justice in a murder trial in 2000.  Lewis was originally accused of having a role in the deaths of two people but he never received even a fraction of the vilification that Vick did.  In fact, he became a hero.  Lewis was not suspended by the NFL but was fined $250,000.  The next season, Lewis led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory.  Lewis has consistently been one of the most praised players in the NFL since the incident.
  • St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little was suspended for only 8 games by the NFL after he was convicted of manslaughter in 1998, killing a woman while driving drunk.  Vick has already missed four times as many games as Little.  (Little spent 90 days in jail).  In 2004, Little was arrested again on charges of driving drunk.
  • Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth is on indefinite suspension from the NFL after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in April after killing a man while driving drunk.  Stallworth only spent one month in jail and will likely be reinstated to the NFL after this season.

Vick is a Quarterback

One of the problems with 24-hour sports talk, ESPN, and the sports blogosphere is that people don’t do much thinking for themselves.  They just repeat back what everybody else says (It’s the same with news).  I’d say 90% of the so-called NFL experts have said over the last two years that when Vick comes back, he will come back not as a quarterback, but as a wide receiver, kick returner, or situational quarterback.  The thinking goes that Vick wasn’t that good of a quarterback in the first place, and two years away from the game would not enable him to recover and play the complex position of quarterback.

Here’s why all those people are wrong.  Vick may have been one of the fastest players in the league during his first few years, but after 6 years of playing QB in the NFL, the wear and tear on Vick probably left his speed at merely faster than average for an NFL wide receiver.  Now after two years of inactivity, he may be just middle of the road as far as speed for NFL receivers.  Plus, he has never played receiver.  If you have Vick at wildcat QB, ok, then he can throw the ball, run with it, catch it, or be a decoy.  But he’s too talented to just play 10 plays a game long-term.

As I’ve said before in my other blog (www.mikefrandsen.org – click “Quarterbacks”), people don’t place a high enough value on quarterbacks who win.  It’s why quarterbacks like Vick (38-28-1 record as a starter) and Vince Young (18-11) get underrated, while quarterbacks like Jay Cutler (17-20) get overrated – because people care more about stats than wins.  Gee, I wonder what else it could be? The way the talking heads talk about Vick and Young makes you wonder if they have an axe to grind – as if they actually dislike them.

Vick’s 71-52 touchdown to interception ratio isn’t that bad despite the fact that he never had good wide receivers, and his WRs dropped a lot of passes his final two years.  Vick also led the Falcons to a 27-7 victory over Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field in 2003, at a time when the Packers had never lost a home playoff game.  The media constantly harps on Vick’s low completion percentage, (53.8%) as evidence that he is a bad QB, but you could take every player’s worst stat out of context if you ignore his good stats.  Who would you rather have, Vick, or a one-dimensional immobile QB with a high completion percentage?  They talk about Vick’s low passer rating, but quarterback ratings don’t take into consideration how well QBs avoid sacks and how many yards they gain on the ground.

Also, it’s not as if the Falcons from 2001 to 2006 were known for having great defense, or great anything, really.  What could Vick have accomplished on a good team?  Vick has 3859 career rushing yards and averaged 7.3 yards a carry.  In 2006, Vick rushed for over 1000 yards and had 8.4 yards a carry, an NFL record!  Great rushing quarterbacks have succeeded — look at Steve Young and Steve McNair.  The dimension that Vick has of running with the ball scares a defense a lot more than overrated quarterbacks who throw tons of interceptions.  Vick has never thrown more than 13 interceptions in a season.  Again, that’s not spectacular, but it’s not as bad as the so-called experts would have you believe.

The fact is that Vick is better than just about all of the backup quarterbacks in the NFL, and better than a lot of starters.  Maybe not this minute, but after he’s spent the month of August and the early part of the season practicing with a team he will be.  At the absolute worst, in my opinion, these are the only quarterbacks who are better than Vick (I put them in order of where I believe they rank).  And within a year, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Vick ends up starting somewhere and moves up to Tier 4, and maybe even up to Tier 3 after a couple of years if he gets into the right situation.  So that means that right now, or by the early part of the season, Vick would be better than nearly a third of the starting quarterbacks in the league.

Tier 1

Peyton Manning

Tom Brady

Tier 2

Drew Brees

Kurt Warner

Donovan McNabb

Ben Roethlisberger

Carson Palmer

Eli Manning

Philip Rivers

Tier 3

Aaron Rodgers

Tony Romo

Matt Ryan

Jay Cutler

Matt Hasselbeck

Chad Pennington

Kerry Collins

Tier 4

Jake Delhomme

Matt Schaub

Matt Cassel

Marc Bulger

Joe Flacco

Vick to the Redskins?

I believe that the Redskins should sign Vick.  They are the perfect team for him.  The team is already established and will have a huge fan base no matter what.  The higher than usual minority population will support Vick more than in other cities, and Vick is also somewhat local, as he is from southern Virginia.

Dan Snyder will get a lot of criticism if he signs Vick, but Snyder should not let that bother him.  People will talk about Snyder’s past signings of “fantasy” players, but those decisions are a sunk cost.  You can’t ignore Vick’s upside.

The Redskins have an established starter in Jason Campbell, but he still hasn’t proven that he is here to stay.  This is Campbell’s fifth season, so he will need to produce.  He has only been on average teams and has had several coaching changes in terms of offensive systems, but the time has come to be more consistent.  He has poise and a strong arm, but we’re still waiting for him to live up to his first round draft selection.

The Skins have two relatively weak backups.  Todd Collins is 37 and has started 3 games in the last 11 seasons.  Colt Brennan is a second year QB and former 6th round draft choice who played great in the preseason last year, but is unproven.   I actually think he has great potential, but it’s still too early to tell for sure.  The other QB on the Skins roster is Chase Daniel, a winner out of Missouri but a rookie who went undrafted.

Ironically, even though Vick is a huge name, the expectations are low for him – a lot of people are assuming he won’t play QB or if he will then he will only be a backup or a situational player.  Take away the off the field problems Vick had and there is no way the Redskins can afford not to sign Vick.  The upside that Vick has compared with the Redskins backups is much greater.  Expect the Redskins to sign Vick and for him to possibly play occasional series once the middle of the season gets here.

Again, obviously what Vick did with dogfighting was terrible, but he paid his debt to society and deserves a second chance.  That chance may be with the Washington Redskins.

***

Update August 8 – It appears unlikely that the Skins will sign Vick.  The league probably wants him to go to a small market like Green Bay, Kansas City, or St. Louis.  That way, the animal protest groups will have a harder time getting out there, whereas in DC they would have an easier time protesting.  Secondly, I have a feeling Snyder may be sensitive to the criticism of him signing big name players.  But those signings – and some worked out okay – are a sunk cost and Snyder or any other owner would be wise to consider someone like Vick who is likely better than their backup QBs and may eventually challenge for the starting job.  I think Minnesota makes sense.